If I were sitting across from you, if we were physically in the same space and I was hearing you tell me things like...
... your abuser wants you to stop using your lawyer. He's not using a lawyer or maybe he is using a lawyer, but he is guilting you into thinking that using lawyers is wrong, guilting you into thinking that you're the reason that he has to spend so much money on lawyers that if you would just stop using your lawyer, that you two could work things out and save money.
… your abuser wants to do a safety inspection to make sure that your new home, that you moved into with your kids, is safe and so that he can approve if it's an okay environment for them.
...your abuser keeps calling you, insisting he will only meet in person to talk about custody and divorce issues, and refuses to communicate via email, as you’ve requested, multiple times.
...when you did custody exchanges, your abuser was embracing you and you did not want it.
….your abuser was giving you gifts in front of the kids or better yet, your ex is giving the kids gifts for you saying it's from the kids and putting you in these places where you feel completely uncomfortable.
You feel like you're between a rock and a hard place, because you don't want to seem like a jerk. You don't want to seem cold nor disappoint your kids.
I would look you in the eye and tell you six simple words.
“You don’t have to take ‘IT’.”
Followed by four more words.
“You can say NO.”
Understand sister, your abuser is seeing what you will do, what you will tolerate, how far he can push you.
Let's be honest. We have historically had weak boundaries with them, if any boundaries at all, or we've put up a boundary, they've pressed it, and we backed down, allowing them to cross the boundary again. And again. And again.
So our words don't really hold much weight. And even though you may think, well, I left, like physically left the house, left the marriage, which is so massive. It was a massive decision and massive action to take as far as a boundary goes!
This is true. But then once we leave, we’re now in the land of Post-Separation Abuse. Leaving is just the beginning.
I'm looking you in the eye and I'm telling you,
“You don't have to take whatever it is that your abuser is throwing at you, or trying to manipulate you into doing or accepting or backing down from or complying with.”
For more on how to stand up to your abuser in these scenarios, listen to the rest of this talk on the video below! Gold nuggets are in there!